+1 Recommend
1 collections
      • Record: found
      • Abstract: found
      • Conference Proceedings: found
      Is Open Access

      CHECKING CREATIVITY: Machines, Media and Mathematics in Early Computer, Serial and Conceptual Art

      Politics of the Machines - Art and After (EVA Copenhagen)
      Digital arts and culture
      15 - 17 May 2018
      Creativity, Machine, Mathematics, Media, Serial Art, Conceptual Art, Computer Art, Sol LeWitt, Mel Bochner, Michael Noll


            Around 1960 digitalisation and computers started to spread through American society and in their wake came a reappraisal of machines: from a production method to a means of innovation. This art historical case study aims to show that mathematical machines were used in early computer, serial and conceptual art not only to explore their aesthetic potential and the media involved. Machines in art of the period also conjured the interplay of the human and machine in creative processes and thus examined creativity itself within human-machine networks. Comparison of these art forms de-livers a surprising insight: although one can assume for all three art movements affinity for the idea and thinking, one encounters ambivalence and criticism concerning logical machines and their cre-ative potential. Paradoxically put, with mathematical machines and critical algorithmic practices, some artists turned against a kind of “machine thinking”.


            Author and article information

            May 2018
            May 2018
            : 1-10
            [1 ] Academy of Art and Design Basel

            FHNW – Institute of Experimental De-sign and Media Cultures (IXDM)

            Freilager-Platz 1, CH-4002 Basel
            © Rottmann. Published by BCS Learning and Development Ltd. Proceedings of EVA Copenhagen 2018, Denmark

            This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported License. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

            Politics of the Machines - Art and After
            EVA Copenhagen
            Aalborg University, Copenhagen, Denmark
            15 - 17 May 2018
            Electronic Workshops in Computing (eWiC)
            Digital arts and culture
            Product Information: 1477-9358BCS Learning & Development
            Self URI (article page): https://www.scienceopen.com/hosted-document?doi=10.14236/ewic/EVAC18.2
            Self URI (journal page): https://ewic.bcs.org/
            Electronic Workshops in Computing

            Applied computer science,Computer science,Security & Cryptology,Graphics & Multimedia design,General computer science,Human-computer-interaction
            Creativity,Machine,Mathematics,Media,Serial Art,Conceptual Art,Computer Art,Sol LeWitt,Mel Bochner,Michael Noll


            1. 1966 Introduction In: The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation Systemic Painting, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation New York 11 20

            2. Anonymous 1957 Definition of “intelligence” In: Merriam-Webster, Dictionary of the English Language 1: A-M 2nd ed unabridged The Riverside Press Cambridge, MA

            3. 1965 On the Creation of Art The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 23 3 291 304

            4. 1979 Interview with LeWitt, S. VHS-Video Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago

            5. 2016 Machine Art in the Twentieth Century The MIT Press London, Cambridge, MA

            6. 2007a Denken gegen das Denken. Produktion, Technologie, Subjektivität bei Sol LeWitt, Yvonne Rainer und Hélio Oiticica b_books Berlin

            7. 2007b Serielle Zeichnungen – Zum Entwurf der Wall Drawings von Sol LeWitt Randgänge der Zeichnung, Wilhelm Fink Verlag, München 303 321

            8. 2009 The Creative American. Cold War Salons, Science and the Cure for Modern Society Isis 100 2 219 262

            9. 1971 Don Judd. An Interview With John Coplans Artforum 9 10 40 50

            10. 1966 Questions to Stella and Judd Art-News 65 5 55 61

            11. 2004 A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-1968 MIT Press Cambridge/London

            12. 1940/1986 Towards a Newer Laocoon Clement Greenberg. The Collected Essays and Criticism 1 Perceptions and Judgements 1939-1944, The University of Chicago Press Chicago/London 23 38

            13. 1960/1986 Modernist Painting Clement Greenberg. The Collected Essays and Criticism 4 Modernism with a Vengeance 1957-1960, The University of Chicago Press Chicago/London 85 93

            14. 1963 Die “zweite” Maschine Das Bewußtsein der Maschinen: Eine Metaphysik der Kybernetik Agis-Verlag Krefeld, Baden-Baden 179 203

            15. 1983 How New York Stole the Idea of Modern Art. Abstract Expressionism University of Chicago Press Chicago

            16. 2013 Kreativität: Thesen zu einem mythischen Begriff Long Lost Friends: Wechselbeziehungen zwischen Design-, Medien- und Wissenschaftsforschung Diaphanes Zürich 183 204

            17. 1972/1995 Minimal Art – Eine amerikanische Ideologie Minimal Art Eine kritische Retrospektive, Verlag der Kunst, Basel, Dresden 444 470

            18. 1968 The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age New York Graphic Society Greenwich, CT

            19. IBM 1962 Reference Manual: IBM 7090 Data Processing System IBM White Plains, NY

            20. 2007 Computergrafik: Ästhetische Experimente zwischen zwei Kulturen. Die Anfänge der Computerkunst in den 1960er Jahren Springer Verlag Wien/New York

            21. 1988 Symbolische Maschinen. Die Idee der Formalisierung in geschichtlichem Abriß Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft Darmstadt

            22. 1975 Sol LeWitt. The Look of Thought Art in America LXIII/5 42 49

            23. 1967 Paragraphs on Conceptual Art Artforum 5 10 79 83

            24. 1969 Sentences on Conceptual Art Art-Language. The Journal of Conceptual Art 1/1 11–13

            25. 2000 L’esprit de Tinguely Hatje Cantz Ostfildern-Ruit

            26. 2016 Angewandte Imagination und Kreativität um 1960. Eine Einführung Designing Thinking. Angewandte Imagination und Kreativität um 1960 Wilhelm Fink Verlag Paderborn 9 38

            27. 1955 A Proposal for the Dartmouth Summer Research Project on Artificial Intelligence https://web.archive.org/web/20080930164306/http://www-formal.stanford.edu/jmc/history/dartmouth/dart-mouth.html 27 05 2018

            28. 1964 Understanding Media: The Extensions of Man McGraw-Hill New York

            29. 2005 Imagination, Figuralität und Kreativität. Zur Frage der Bedingungen kultureller Produktivität Sic et Non. Zeitschrift für Philosophie und Kultur im Netz 4 1 1–12

            30. 1995 Excerpts from a Correspondance, 1981-1983 Sol LeWitt. Critical Texts Libri di AEIUO Rom 102 119

            31. 2012 Das Medium der Zeichnung im Werk von Jean Tinguely Museum Tinguely Basel. Die Sammlung Kehrer Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 247 375

            32. 1999 Bildgeschichten aus Zahlen und Zufall. Betrachtungen zur Computerkunst Visualisierung in Mathematik, Technik und Kunst: Grundlagen und Anwendungen Vieweg Braunschweig/Wiesbaden 125 126

            33. 2010 Paragraphs on Computer Art, Past and Present Cat 2010: Ideas Before Their Time: Connecting the Past and Present in Computer Art. Proceedings of CAT 2010 London 3 February 2010 Swinton: BCS.55 63

            34. 2012 Construction and Intuition. Creativity in Early Computer Art Computers and Creativity Springer Verlag Berlin 61 94

            35. 1966 Human or Machine: a Subjective Comparison of Piet Mondrian’s “Composition with Lines” 1917 and a Computer-Generated Picture The Psychological Record Vol. 16 1 10

            36. 1967 The Digital Computer as a Creative Medium IEEE Spectrum 4 10 89 95

            37. 2001 Interview mit Sol LeWitt Recording Conceptual Art. Early Interviews With Barry, Huebler, Kaltenbach, LeWitt, Morris, Oppenheim, Siegelaub, Smithson, Weiner by Patricia Norvell University of California Press Berkeley 112 123

            38. 2011 Computer Art: Ten Questions to Michael Noll. http://www.predella.it/archivio/index537c.html 13 09 2017

            39. 2014 The Rise and Fall of Mathematics. How the Role of Mathematics Changed in Sol LeWitts Art Since the 1960s The Journal of Art Theory and Practice Special Issue Vision and Math 18 145 168

            40. 2015 Donald Judd’s Arithmetics and Sol LeWitt’s Combinatorics. On the Relationship Between Visual and Mathematical in New York Art Around 1960 Imagine Math 3: Between Culture and Mathematics Springer Verlag, Heidelberg New York, London, Dordrecht 85 98

            41. 2016a »Is your ›imaginer‹ ready?« Intention, Kritik und Rezeption der visuellen Kultur der amerikanischen New Math Designing Thinking. Angewandte Imagination und Kreativität um 1960 Wilhelm Fink Verlag Pader-born 119 148

            42. 2016b Kalkulierte Innovationen. Zur Kritik der Systematisierung von Innovationsprozessen in Kunst und Design um 1960 im Spannungsverhältnis von Selbst, Medium und System, penned in process

            43. 1978 »Order and Randomness in Abstract Painting« Selected Papers Vol. 2: Modern Art. 19th & 20th Centuries Braziller New York 233 261

            44. 1992 Sol LeWitt: Drawings 1958-1992, Westfälisches Landesmuseum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Münster

            45. 1968/1996 A Museum of Language in The Vicinity of Art Robert Smithson: the Collected Writings University of California Press Berkeley, Los Angeles, London 78 94

            46. 2007 Sol LeWitt: The mystic Conceptualist. http://www.studiointernational.com/index.php/sol-lewitt-the-mystic-conceptualist 15 7 2010

            47. 1958 Creativity in Art The Philosophical Review 67 1 1 15

            48. 1948/1969 Intelligent Machinery Machine Intelligence 5 Edinburgh University Press Edinburgh 3 23

            49. 1950 Computing Machinery and Intelligence Mind, New Series 59/236 433 460

            50. 2008 Romantic Automatism: Art, Technology, and Collaborative Labor in Cold War America Journal of Visual Culture 7/1 5 26

            51. 1998 Jackson Pollock Museum of Modern Art New York

            52. 1972 Perception of the Future and the Future of Perception Instructional Science 1 1 31 43

            53. 2010 Künstliche Kunst. Abstraktion als Mimesis Prekäre Bilder Wilhelm Fink Verlag Mün-chen 225 245


            Comment on this article